Nvidia Creates First Graphics Chip with Embedded DRAM

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Nvidia Corporation have announced that TSMC has successfully produced a fully-functional sample of a graphics chip for handheld devices with embedded DRAM. "Nvidia is pleased to have collaborated with TSMC on their new 65nm embedded DRAM process, which has proven to be an excellent platform for our latest handheld GPU product. The efficiencies of the embedded DRAM process allowed us to raise the bar for features found in mainstream cell phones," said Michael Rayfield, general manager of the handheld division of Nvidia Corp.

Embedded Random Access Memory (eDRAM) allows the integration of a higher amount of memory into computer chips than currently used Static Random Access Memory (SRAM). Larger amounts of onboard memory mean higher bandwidth - faster processing. This means more functions for mainstream handhelds, and possible development of solutions for applications that require higher graphics performance. The 65nm embedded DRAM process of TSMC is built on up to 10 metal layers using copper low-k interconnect and nickel silicide transistor interconnect. The smaller form factor is due to the logic and memory functions built on a single device, which also enhances systems reliability. It features a cell size less than a quarter of its SRAM counterpart, and macro densities ranging from 4Mb to 256Mb. It also uses a low thermal budget module and is compatible with all 65nm logic libraries, making it an efficient process for IP reuse. The embedded DRAM design also features improved retention time and special power saving options.

News source: Xbit Laboratories

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